Tackling undeclared work database

Undeclared work can be defined as work which is in itself legal but is not declared to the authorities for tax, social security and/or labour law purposes. Across the 28 Member States of the European Union, a great deal of effort is being invested into developing and testing policy measures that aim to tackle undeclared work.

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Registration requirement for temporary agencies, the Netherlands

02 Junio 2013
  • Netherlands
  On 1 January 2012, several labour laws came into effect aimed at combating illegal employment and labour exploitation. The legislation marks a new area in which government (and the national Labour Inspectorate) intends to play a more active supervisory role. In particular, the law re-introduced the requirement for temporary employment agencies to be registered. Agencies that are not registered with the trade register held by the Chamber of Commerce will be fined, as will companies that hire staff from such agencies.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Deterrence: increase penalties

Amendment to Social Insurance Law, Cyprus

02 Junio 2013
  • Cyprus
  The Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance has introduced several measures to combat undeclared and illegal employment in Cyprus. Among these measures is an amendment to the Social Insurance Law of 2010 specifically to oblige employers to present, whenever requested, a copy of a specific employment attestation for its employees.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

Targeted reduction of social security payments, Turkey

02 Junio 2013
  • Turkey
  The Turkish government introduced a general as well as targeted reduction of social security contributions and significant social security and corporate and VAT reductions for enterprises investing in less developed regions. The incentives were coupled with a deterrence approach targeted at employers using undeclared labour. The measure has led to an increase in formal (new) jobs.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection, Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

National minimum wage agreements, Estonia

02 Junio 2013
  • Estonia
  In Estonia, national minimum wage rates are negotiated through bipartite agreements between the Estonian Trade Union Confederation and the Estonian Employers’ Confederation, which are then translated into regulations by the government. The minimum wages are applied across the whole economy. One of the arguments behind raising minimum wage levels has been to reduce the share of undeclared wages.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

Employers’ campaign against the shadow economy, Latvia

02 Junio 2013
  • Latvia
  In 2011 the Latvian Employers’ Confederation conducted a publicity campaign in the framework of the European Social Fund project, ‘Practical application of normative acts of labour relations and safety at work in sectors and undertakings’. The campaign comprised six parts, including an online test and discussions with business representatives, and targeted Latvian citizens, business people, politicians and the government.  
  • Type of measure:

    Changing attitudes: awareness raising, Changing attitudes: commitment to tax morality

Start-up premium, Germany

02 Junio 2013
  • Germany
  The introduction of the Ich-AG scheme in 2003, a new public subsidy for business start-ups, was intended to reduce Germany’s unemployment rate, to combat illegal employment and to offer unemployed people a way out of undeclared work. In 2006, the federal government fused the two labour market instruments and the ‘start-up premium’ (Gründungszuschuss) came into effect, aimed at improving administrative effectiveness and avoiding duplicated structures for the scheme.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work

Training labour inspectors, Portugal

02 Junio 2013
  • Portugal
  This measure involves a training course on the topic of undeclared and irregular work specifically for labour inspectors recruited since 2009, organised by ACT with the objective of understanding the varied forms of undeclared and irregular work in the context of the current legal framework, Domestic work, home working, rural labour, and micro and small enterprises have been identified as areas deserving particular focus as regards undeclared work.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection

Labour Inspectorate campaign, Hungary

02 Junio 2013
  • Hungary
  Inspections and penalties are used in Hungary to curb the undeclared economy. The Hungarian Labour Inspectorate (OMMF) is a central agency under the control of the Minister of Employment, in charge of supervising (legal) employment and the safety of employees. The inspection campaign for 2012 aimed to spread information countrywide concerning the benefits of legal employment, to offer consultancy services for employers and potential employees and to carry out inspections with the aim of increasing legal employment figures.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: improve detection

Seasonal work vouchers, Croatia

02 Junio 2013
  • Croatia
  This project, introduced during the summer of 2012, aims at making it easier to employ seasonal workers in agriculture in a formal way by issuing vouchers. The employers use the vouchers to pay the seasonal workers. The purchased vouchers include social contributions and taxes.  
  • Type of measure:

    Legitimising undeclared work, Prevention

Law against wage and social dumping, Austria

02 Junio 2013
  • Austria
  On 1 May 2011, the seven-year transitional period banning workers from eight new central and eastern European Member States from entering the Austrian labour market ended. In order to prevent social and wage dumping, a law bringing in stricter controls and penalties for these offences was introduced. However, the law leaves a loophole for companies refusing to disclose wage documentation. Administrative fines for this offence are much smaller than are the penalties for wage and social dumping.  
  • Type of measure:

    Deterrence: increase penalties

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